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tv   U.S. Senate  CSPAN  January 3, 2013 12:00pm-5:00pm EST

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groups. we are show you others sworn in during the day, and now to live coverage of the u.s. senate here on c-span2.
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the vice president: the senate will come to order. the chaplain will lead the senate in prayer.
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the chaplain: let us pray. eternal god, we thank you that we are more than conquerors because you love us. we praise you that today your conquering spirit has brought our beloved senator mark kirk back to work in these hallowed halls. we're grateful that nothing can separate us from your love, neither death nor life, nor heights nor depth, nor any created things. give our senators today, spiritual, intellectual, and
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physical revitalization, infusing them with your peace and power. bless the lawmakers who will take the oath today. fill them with your spirit so that their lives will honor you. we pray in your merciful name. amen. the vice president: please join me in reciting the pledge of allegiance to our flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the vice president: the chair lays before the senate one
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certificate of appointment to fill an unexpired term and the certificates of election of 33 senators elected for six-year terms beginning on january 3, 2013. all certificates, the chair is advised, are in the form suggested by the senate or contain all the essential requirements of the form suggested by the senate. if there be no objection, the reading of the certificates will be waived and they will be printed in full in the record. if the senators to be sworn will now present themselves at the desk of four as their names are called in alphabetical order, the chair will administer the oath of office. the clerk will read the names of the first group. the clerk: miss baldwin of wisconsin. mr. barrasso of wyoming. mr. brown of ohio. ms. cantwell of washington.
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the vice president: please raise your right hands. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? the group: i do. the vice president: congratulations. [applause]
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the vice president: the clerk will call the names of the next group. the clerk: mr. cardin of maryland. mr. carper of delaware. mr. casey of pennsylvania. mr. corker of tennessee.
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the vice president: please raise your right hands. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? the group: i do. the vice president: congratulations. [applause]
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the vice president: the clerk will call the names of the next group.
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the clerk: mr. cruz of texas. mr. donnelly of indiana. mrs. feinstein of california. mrs. fischer of nebraska. the vice president: please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and
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faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? the group: i do. the vice president: congratulations, senators. [applause]
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the vice president: the clerk will call the names of the next group. the clerk: mr. flake of arizona. mrs. gillibrand of new york. mr. hatch of utah. mr. heinrich of new mexico.
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the vice president: please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? the group: i do. the vice president: congratulations, senators. welcome.
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[applause] the vice president: the clerk will call the names of the next group.
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the clerk: ms. heitkamp of north dakota. mr. heller of nevada. ms. hirono of hawaii. mr. kaine of virginia. the vice president: please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? the group: i do. the vice president: congratulations, senators.
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[applause]
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the vice president: the clerk will call the names of the next group. the clerk: mr. king of maine. ms. klobuchar of minnesota. mr. manchin of west virginia. mrs. mccaskill of missouri.
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the vice president: please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? the group: i do. the vice president: congratulations, senators. [applause]
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the vice president: the clerk will call the names of the next group. the clerk: mr. menendez of new jersey. mr. murphy of connecticut. mr. nelson of florida. mr. sanders of vermont.
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the vice president: please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? the group: i do. the vice president: congratulations, senators. [applause]
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the vice president: the clerk will call the names of the next group. the clerk: mr. scott of south carolina. ms. stabenow of michigan. mr. tester of montana. ms. warren of massachusetts.
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the vice president: please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? the group: i do. the vice president: congratulations, senators. [applause]
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the vice president: the clerk will call the names of the next group. the clerk: mr. whitehouse of rhode island. mr. wicker of mississippi.
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the vice president: please raise your right hand. the vice president: please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? the group: i do. the vice president: congratulations, senators.
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[applause]
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mr. reid: mr. president? the vice president: the majority leader. mr. reid: i note the absence of a quorum and ask the clerk to call the roll. the vice president: the absence of a quorum having been suggested, the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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the vice president: a quorum is present. the majority leader. mr. reid: can we have order, please. the vice president: may we have order in the senate. the majority leader.
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mr. reid: mr. president, we -- i have a number of housekeeping matters i need to take care of with senator mcconnell. senators are welcome to stay but i know there are a lot of things going on today, receptions and things of that nature. i think we're going to -- we're not going to have speeches tod today. we'll have plenty of time to do that at a subsequent time. but with -- and i doubt that we'll have any votes. there may be a need for one roll call vote later on. we'll see what happens after the house takes action today. but i hope that's not the case. so having said that. people are welcome to stay or to leave. i have a resolution at the desk, mr. president. i ask it now be considered. the vice president: without objection. the clerk will report. the clerk: s. res. 1, informing the president of the united states that a quorum of each house is assembled. the presiding officer: without objection, the resolution is considered and agreed to.
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mr. reid: mr. president? the presiding officer: can we have order. the majority leader. mr. reid: even though i suggested that people need not stay, i would appreciate if they would be quiet. the presiding officer: there will be order in the senate. there will be order in the senate and in the galleries. mr. reid: i don't like to complain, mr. president, but all the noise is coming from the democratic side, so could you -- the president pro tempore: will the democratic side be in order. mr. reid: i move to reconsider the vote by which the resolution was agreed to. the president pro tempore: without objection. mr. reid: i move to table. the president pro tempore: without objection, it's tabled. and pursuant to senate resolution 1, the chair appoints
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the senator from nevada, mr. reid, and the senator from kentucky, mr. mcconnell, as part of the committee to join the committee on the part of the house of representatives to wait upon the president of the united states to inform him that a quorum is assembled and that e congress is ready to receive any communication he may be pleased to make. and the senate will be in order. the majority leader. mr. reid: thank you, mr. president. i have a resolution at the desk. i ask that it now be considered. the president pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: s. res. 2, informing the house of representatives that a quorum of the senate is assembled. the president pro tempore: without objection, the resolution's considered and agreed to. mr. reid: i move to reconsider that vote by which the resolution was agreed to. the president pro tempore: without objection. mr. reid: i have a concurrent resolution at the desk. i ask that the chair now consider this matter. the president pro tempore: the clerk will report.
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the clerk: s. con. res. 1, to provide for the counting on january 4, 2013, of the electoral votes for president and vice president of the united states. the president pro tempore: without objection, the concurrent resolution is agreed to. mr. reid: i move to reconsider the vote by which the concurrent resolution was agreed to. the president pro tempore: without objection. mr. reid: there's a concurrent resolution at the desk, mr. president. i ask that it now be brought up for consideration. the president pro tempore: if the senator would withhold a moment. the chair appoints the senator from new york, mr. schumer, the senator from tennessee, mr. alexander as tellers on the part of the senate to count electoral votes. we really -- it is difficult to hear. would the senate please be in order. the senate will be in order.
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mr. reid: mr. president, i have a concurrent resolution that i wish to be reported. it's at the desk. the president pro tempore: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. con. res. 2, extending the life of the joint congressional committee on inaugural ceremonies. the president pro tempore: without objection, the concurrent resolution is considered and it is agreed to. mr. reid: i move to reconsider the vote by which the resolution was agreed to. the president pro tempore: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president? the president pro tempore: the senator from nevada. the majority leader. mr. reid: thank you, mr. president. i have -- there's now another resolution at the desk and i ask it be considered at this time. the president pro tempore: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. res. 3, fixing the hour of daily meeting of the senate.
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the presiding officer: without objection, the resolution is considered and agreed to. mr. reid: i move to reconsider the vote by which the resolution was agreed to. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid reid: madam president,i send to the desk en bloc 12 unanimous consent requests. i ask that they be considered now and -- be considered en bloc, that the requests be agreed to en bloc, and the motion to reconside reconsider e adoption of these requests be laid upon the table and that they appear separately in the record. before the chair rules, however, i'd like to point out that these requests are routine and done at the beginning of each new congress. they entail issues such as authorizing -- authorizing the ethics committee to meet, authorizing the secretary to receive reports at the desk, establish leader time each day and privileges for the floor for the house parliamentarians.
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madam president, we really need to have order. it's really hard to hear the chair. the presiding officer: thank you. is there objection to the unanimous consent en bloc? without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: madam president, i ask unanimous consent that for the duration of the 113th congress, the ethics committee be authorized to meet during any session of the senate. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the first day for the introduction of bills and joint resolutions in the 113th congress be tuesday, january 22, 2013. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid reid: there's another concurrent resolution at the desk, madam chair, and i ask that it be considered at this time. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: senate concurrent
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resolution 3, providing for a conditional adjournment or recess of the senate and an adjournment of the house of representatives. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure at this time? without objection, so ordered. mr. reid: i move to reconsider the vote by which the resolution was agreed to. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: did you get the tabling motion there, madam president? the presiding officer: without objection, the resolution is agreed to. without objection, the motion to reconsider is tabled. mr. reid: madam chair, thank you very much for your patience. madam president, it's really my pleasure to convene the 113th congress. i welcome back all my colleagues to a place that we love, the united states senate. but in particular, i'd like to welcome illinois senator mark
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kirk. he's been away from us for a year recovering from an illness. we're all grateful for his recovery. he's really been an inspiration to us. today on the east front of the capitol to see him walk up those steps was really -- it said it all. so we're very proud of him and glad that he's back with us. i also offer a special welcome to the 13 new members of the senate. the presiding officer: may we have order in the chambers and in the gallery. mr. reid: madam president, i'm confident that each senator will treasure their memories in this historic legislative body and that each will serve our states and our nation with distinction. all the members of the freshman class are accomplished in their own right. i can remember many years ago, 30 years ago, madam president, a new member of the house, speaker o'neill called us in in small
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groups to talk to him. madam president, we really need order. it's very distracting. the presiding officer: will the members please take their conversations out of the chamber. mr and he said to each of us. all of you are accomplished, or you wouldn't be here. you're all politicians. it is not a bad word. i say that to all my senators. the new senators that they are all accomplished or they wouldn't be here. and they should all understand that they should have confidence moving into this body because they are a just as experienced as the rest of us. i trust that serving in the senate will be the most rewarding experience of their lives. in this carriages th chamber, th congress will face the most significant challenge of our careers. i urge all senators, new and experienced, to draw not only on
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our varied experience at every level of government in public service, but also on each observer's experience. daniel webster said, "we're all agents of the same supreme power: the people." today as we begin a new congress, we're ad toed the opportunity to reflect upon the successes and failures of past congresses. it's been said that the 112th couldn't was characterized by some of the sharpest political divisions in memory. during the last congress, there were all so many commendable examples of compromise. the recent effort to avert the fiscal cliff was an example of both the divisions and the collaborations that will mark a moment in history, and it was a moment in history. although the process of resolving some of of the fiscal issues facing this country was extremely difficult and protracted, in the end our two parties came together to protect america's middle class. that's something of which we should all be proud. as we advance the debate over the best way to strengthen our
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economy and reduce our deficit during this congress, the 113th, democrats will continue to stand strong for the principle of balance. and i'm hopeful and confident my republican colleagues will do the same. any future budget agreements must balance the need for thoughtful spending reductions with revenue from the wealthiest among us and closing wasteful tax loopholes. the 112th congress, madam president, unfortunately, showed that we had some political differences, and these differences prevented us from accomplishing as much as we'd hoped during the congress that was just completed. we also passed very important legislation, such as the transportation jobs bill. this was important because it kept 2 million people working. and we began the restoration with that legislation of our crumbling infrastructure. we made strides to reduce the nation's deficit and prevented tax increases for 98% of american families and 97% of small businesses. and i
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guess i should have started, madam president, by telling everyone that the marks that people see on my face, that has nothing to do with the fiscal cliff or the disagreements that speaker boehner and i had. it's from being very pale and living in the desert most of my life. madam president, we were able to accomplish, as i indicated, many things to reduce the deficit and prevent a tax increase for american families and small businesses. we have formed our patent system for the first time in six decades, gave small business owners access to the capital they need to compete and reauthorize the federal aviation administration, keeping 300,000 workers employed. and not a single piece of that legislation became law without the votes of both democrats and republicans. all those legislative initiatives that i just talked about were bipartisan. unfortunately, many other worthy issues that passed the senate with strong bipartisan support languished, waiting action by
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the house of representatives. in the 113th congress, it will be incumbent upon the house republican leaders to allow bipartisan bills passed by the senate to come to a vote before the full house of representatives, not before the republican members only but before democrats and republicans, all 435 members of the house. too many good pieces of legislation died over the last two years because house republican leaders insisted on passing legislation with a majority of the majority. that is, only republicans. democrats were ignored most of the time. for example, postal reform, violence against women, the farm bill, relief for victims of hurricane sandy all passed the senate on a bipartisan basis after extensive deliberation and debate, yet the house failed to act on all four of these measures, and there were others. as speaker boehner saw on new year's day, when he allows every member of the house to vote, not only republican members of the house to vote, congress can
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enact bills into law. no major legislation can pass the senate without the votes of both democrats and republicans. during the 113th congress, the speaker should strive to make that the rule of the house as well. still, it's true that the 112th congress left much undone. that's why we resolve to pick up where we left off in just a few weeks. the first crucial matter we will address will be the long overdue aid for victims of hurricane sandy. i'm hopeful that the house will act as they said on the 15th, and when we get back here, we'll move on it very, very quickly. we need to strive to be more productive, and we'll do little if we don't address the major reason for inefficiency. simply the senate is not working as it should. that's why in the last congress, i made plain that democrats would do something to fix those issues. the beginning of a new congress is customarily a time that the senate addresses changes to its rules. in the last congress, democratic senators merkley, udall, harkin and whitehouse made the majority's case for change.
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i commend these passionate leaders. they have made compelling arguments for reform. in recent months, senators on both sides of the aisle sat out trying to broker a compromise. this group was led by two of the greatest senators that ever served in this body, the finest, the best, senator levin of michigan, senator mccain of arizona. they have worked many, many hours with a group of six other senators to come up with something that they thought would work better, and i so appreciate their work. but in the waning weeks of the last congress, senators justifiably were occupied with other matters, including the fiscal cliff, but, madam president, i believe this matter warrants additional debate during the 113th congress, which just started. senators deserve additional notice before voting to change senate rules, so today i will follow the precedent set in 2005 and again in 2011. we will reserve the right of all senators to propose changes to the senate rules and we will explicitly not acquiesce in the
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carrying over of all the rules from last congress. it's my intention that the senate will recess today rather than adjourn to continue the same legislative day and allow this important rules discussion to continue. madam president, i am confident that the republican leader and i can come to an agreement that allows the senate to work more efficiently. we have talked again today. we just haven't had time, with the other things that we have been dealing with, to spend enough time together to do this, but we definitely want to move forward to try to make this place work better, so i appreciate his willingness to work on this. i'll do my very utmost, as i know he will.
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mr. mcconnell: madam president? the presiding officer: the republican leader. mr. mcconnell: i'd like to welcome everybody back after what we all realize was a somewhat abbreviated recess. in fact, i believe you have to go back to 1970 to find the last time the senate was in session and voting between christmas and new year's. and in particular, i want to welcome back senator mark kirk. he has made a brilliant recovery since suffering a debilitating stroke almost a year ago. the fact that mark is here today says a lot about his tenacity, his dedication and his commitment to the people of illinois. i'm told that about two-thirds of the patients in the facility where he has been recovering over the past year don't return to work, but true to form, mark opted for an experimental rehabilitation program so
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grueling, it's been compared to military boot camp. his staff counted 45 steps from the parking lot to the front door of the senate, and during his treatment, he made walking those steps his goal. and today, he did it. he did it. so we admire him for his spirit and we applaud his achievement. it's wonderful to have him back and ready to work. i'd also like to welcome the new members who take their oaths of office today, particularly the four new members of the republican conference -- senator flake of arizona, senator fischer of nebraska, senator cruz of texas and senator scott of south carolina. congratulations to you all. we welcome the energy and intelligence each of you brings to the challenges that we face, and especially to the transcendent challenge of our
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time. a federal debt so huge, so huge it threatens to permanently alter an economy that has provided generations of americans the opportunity to fulfill their dreams of a better life. four straight years of trillion-dollar deficits and projected spending that no realistic amount of tax revenue could cover have put us at a crossroads. either we tackle our nation's spending problem or it's going to tackle us. it's that simple. and there is no better time to do the work we need to do than right now. the bipartisan agreement we reached earlier this week was imperfect. i'm the first to admit it, especially the process, but aside from shielding 99% of my constituents and many of yours from the painful effects of a middle-class tax hike, the president seemed all too
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willing, by the way, to impose that, it gave us something else. it settled the revenue debate for good. the revenue debate is over. president obama declared the other night that those he calls rich are now paying their fair share, so it's time to move on. the president got his revenue. now it's time to turn squarely to the real problem which we all know is spending. we all knew that the tax hikes the president campaigned on were never going to solve the problem. now that he's got them, he has a responsibility to put his preoccupation with taxes behind him and to work with us to actually solve the problem at hand, so it's time to face up to the fact that our nation is in grave fiscal danger, grave fiscal danger, and that it has everything to do with spending. this is a debate the american people want us to have. the president liked to point out
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on the campaign trail that most americans supported the idea of taxing the rich. what he conveniently left out is that even more americans support the idea of cutting spending. one recent survey i saw said about 3/4 of all americans say they want to see major spending cuts in washington. and when you look at some of the things washington has been wasting their dollars on, it's no wonder. i mean, if we can't stop spending taxpayer dollars on robosquirrels and dancing robot deejays or hot air balloon rides for smokey the bear, then there is no hope at all, because if we can't fix the easy stuff, the robosquirrels and the robot deejays, the things most of us agree on, how are we ever going to get at the hard stuff? and that's why the first step in this debate is for democrats to
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get over their fanatical commitment to guarding every single dime the government ever got its hands on. this has got to stop. and the best time to stop it is now. there is actually no better time for this debate. in a couple of months, the president will ask us to raise the nation's debt limit. we cannot agree to increase that borrowing limit without agreeing to reforms that lower the avalanche of spending that's creating this debt in the first place. it's not fair to the american people, it's not fair to our children who we're asking to foot the bill. and the health of our economy requires it, so now is the time to get serious about spending. and in the past few weeks -- if the past few weeks have taught us anything at all, that means the president needs to show up early this time. the american people will not tolerate the kind of last-minute
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crisis that we've seen again and again over the last four years as a result of this president's chronic inactivity and refusal to lead on the pressing issues of our time. we don't need speeches. we need action, and we need it now. and we need courage, because the only way we're going to address the spending that's at the root of our nation's fiscal problems is if the president is willing to bring the members of his party to the table and get them to rise above the partisan voices on the left who treat every single penny of government spending as sacred. hopefully, that kind of cooperation will be forthcoming, but if not, we'll have several opportunities in the coming months to force the conversation that washington needs to have. the first such opportunity, as i've said, surrounds the president's upcoming request of us to raise the debt ceiling.
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after that, there is the continuing resolution, but let me be clear, there is no need for drama, no need for drama, and we don't want any. the president knows as well as i do what needs to be done. he can either engage now to significantly cut government spending or force a crisis later. it's his call. but for the sake of the country, we must have this debate now. so today i call on my friend, the majority leader, and the rest of my democratic colleagues to start working with us right now, not one hour or one day or one week before we hit the debt limit, but ahead of time, for once, so we can pass a bipartisan solution on spending that everyone who has had an opportunity to weigh in on in early february. we need a plan that can pass the house and actually begin to get washington spending under control, and if we're serious,
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we'll get one done. with taxes now off the table, the only way to achieve a balanced plan is to focus on the spending side of the equation, particularly as the president pointed out, health care entitlement programs. because, as i said, taxes simply can't go high enough to keep pace with the amount of money we have projected to spend on them without crushing our economy. the best way to reform these programs is to make them work better. the debt isn't exploding because these programs exist. it's exploding because they are inefficient. they were created in a different era, the era of black and white tv. they should be updated for the age of the ipad, and we should want to fix them, not just because we want to lower the debt but because we want to strengthen the programs themselves.
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so over the next few months, it will be up to the president and his party to work with us to deliver the same kind of bipartisan resolution on spending that we have now achieved on taxes, but it needs to happen before the 11th hour. and for that to happen, the president needs to show up this time. the president claims to want a balanced approach. now that he has the tax rates he wants, his calls for balance means he needs to join us in the effort to achieve meaningful spending reform. the president may not want to have this debate, but it's the one he's going to have because the country needs it. republicans are ready to tackle the spending problem, and we start today. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the leadership time is reserved.
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the senator from new mexico. mr. udall: madam president, i have a resolution which i send to the desk and ask for its consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report the resolution by title. the clerk: s. res. 4, to limit certain uses of the filibuster in the senate to improve the legislative process. mr. udall: i would ask for the waiver of any further reading. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: and i would object, i would object. the presiding officer: you're objecting to -- to further proceedings? mr. udall: yes. the presiding officer: objection having been heard, the resolution will go over under the rule. mr. udall: i would yield to the senator from tennessee for his
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objection. the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: reserving the right to object, the majority and minority leaders are working together to try to find ways to move bills to the floor and get more amendments. i'd like to give them time to complete that work. i therefore object. the presiding officer: so noted. mr. udall: i thank the senator from tennessee and i know he is working diligently and we've got some, i think some very positive things happening. i would ask consent to include my full statement in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: and now madam chair, on behalf of senator harkin, i have a resolution which i send to at the desk and ask for its consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report by title. the clerk: s. res. 5, amending the standing rules of the senate to provide for cloture to be invoked with less than a three-fifths majority after additional debate. the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee.
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mr. alexander: reserving the right to object for the reason i just stated to give the majority and minority leader and other senators a chance to find ways waste to find the senate function more fairly and more efficiently, i object. the presiding officer: objection so heard. mr. udall: madam president -- the presiding officer: the resolution will go over under the rule. the senator from new mexico. mr. udall: madam president, i would also just reiterate again, senator alexander, a number of senators, including senator merkley and myself, are all working trying to make sure that this is a better place and that it functions better, and we look forward to having the next couple of weeks to be able to do that. and with that, let me say that any statement that senator harkin might have on his resolution i would ask consent that that be allowed to be put in the record. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: with that, i would
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yield to my good friend who has been working with me are from the first day i arrived here on rules. i yield to the senator from oregon. the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. merkley: madam president, i have a resolution which i send to the desk and ask for its consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report resolution by title. the clerk: s. res. 6 to modify extended debate in the senate to improve the legislative process. the presiding officer: is there objection? to reading? the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: reserving the right to object. again, the majority and minority leaders are working together with other senators to try to find ways that we can agree upon to assist in the functioning of the senate. so to give them sufficient time to do that, i do object. the presiding officer: objection having been heard, the resolution will go over under the rule. the senator from oregon. mr. merkley: i thank my colleague from tennessee for the efforts he's putting forth to
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find ways to make this goad bode truly engage in dialogue and decisionmaking as the american people expect. madam president, on behalf of senator lautenberg i have a resolution which i send to the desk and ask for its consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report by title. the clerk: s. refs 7 -- s. res. 7 to permit the senate to avoid unnecessary delay and vote on matters for which floor debate has ceased. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? mr. alexander: madam president, for the reasons i've stated in the other requests for unanimous consent, i do object. the presiding officer: objection having been heard, the resolution will go over under the rule. the senator from oregon. mr. merkley: madam president, thank you. i ask unanimous consent to have my full statement entered in the record and have any statement that senator lautenberg may submit be entered as well. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. merkley: thank you, madam president. i look forward to the dialogue
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among all the members on how the senate can reclaim its important role as a deliberative and decisionmaking body. madam president, i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. the senator from oregon. mr. merkley: i do thank senator udall for having been so involved in this conversation and helping to drive it forward. and if there are no further comments, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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a senator: madam president? the presiding officer: the senator from oregon. mr. merkley: madam president, i ask that the quorum call be set aside. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. merkley: i ask unanimous consent the senate stand ?apped recess subject to the call of the -- stand in recess subject to the call of the chair. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate is in recess subject to the call of the chair.
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>> we'll go live live to the old senate chamber where the mock swearing sessions are just getting under way. >> please raise your right hand. do solemnly swear that you'll support and defend the constitution of the united states, against all enemies foreign and domestic? you take this obligation freely without any reservation and you
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will discharge the duties, so help you god? >> i do. >> bring the whole family and, of course. what's your name? nice to see you. how are you, man? great to see you. >> gather around, come up around the podium.
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>> take care of your grandfather. your most important job. how old are you? [inaudible] >> great to see you guys. >> i will, i will tell her hi. they want to have you stand right there. will you please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that you
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will support and defend the constitution of the united states it's all enemies, foreign and domestic, that you bear truth faith and allegiance to the same, that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion, and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> yes. >> how are you? good to see you. >> nice to see you. maria, good to see. my brother-in-law, bob.
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>> hey, bob, great to see you. can you step back just a little bit of that way? >> absolutely. >> can we get everybody? and one more, please. spent congratulations, everybody. [inaudible]
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>> come on back on richard. >> i don't know this next guy. >> good to see you. how are you? good to see you. are you kidding me? all right. >> senator, come forward just a bit. >> are you ready? please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear the true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that
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you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> congratulations, powell. >> all right. >> how are you? this is the vice president of the united states. >> how old are you? [inaudible] >> and how old are you, 17? >> eleven spent what's your name? >> griffin. >> come on back, let's get a picture. stand right in front.
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>> thank you very much. >> thank you so much. i don't want a handshake mom. i winner, too. that's what i want another one. raise your right hand, please. do you solemnly swear or affirm that you will support and defend the constitution of the united
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states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear the true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> congratulations. good for us. >> good to see you again. >> mom, take care of her, will you? all right. >> ann grier. >> thank you very much. >> are you going to hold the bible? hey, how are you? good to see you. how are you? welcome back.
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bob, would you raise your right hand please? do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear the true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> [inaudible] nice to see you, man. thank you. thank you very, very much. appreciate it. how is that baseball team going? i remember. i remember, man. a doubleheader. come back. >> [inaudible] >> she is not? oh, i am sorry.
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what's your name? >> you are smart and pretty, too. how old are you, 15? [inaudible] >> okay, please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear the true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> congratulations. i'm glad you are back. >> what is your name? hi.
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a smile that lights up the room. good to see you again. high, how are you? what is your name? >> tony. >> hey, man, good to see you. >> i'm going to slide behind you. >> moving a little closer. >> okay, here we go. >> a little closer than that. >> nice to see you again. >> good seeing you. >> stand right there, okay
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please raise your right hand. >> do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear the true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> your the best. >> thank you. >> my family is coming. >> this is my granddaughter. >> how old are you? [inaudible] >> this is nick. >> hey, honey, how are you? good to see you. what a beautiful smile. what is your name? [inaudible] >> hey, jack, how are you,
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buddy? good to see you. >> hey, john, how are you doing? >> thank you. [inaudible] >> nice to see you. congratulations. >> birthday girl. >> happy birthday.
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all right, will you please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear the true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. thank you. >> happy birthday. >> leave him there, will you? [inaudible conversations] >> please tell your wife i said hello. >> i will. >> okay, do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear the true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that
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you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> glad you're here. no, no, no. i've been around here so long. [inaudible] >> hey, charlie, good to see you. how are you? how are you? hi, how are you? >> hi. >> hi. >> she lights up the room. patrick, how are you? now, are you with that woman of there? where's the secret service? >> bob. >> bob, how are you? come on, marjorie, get right in there. okay.
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>> one of the few really stand up guys. >> i won't argue with you. >> [inaudible conversations]
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>> i remember that, i remember that. >> i'll go that way. >> oh, i remember you. >> thank you. >> please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear the true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do.
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[inaudible conversations] >> thank you so much. >> all right, guys. these are six of her seven children. this is my daughter. this is joseph's daughter, marilyn. his son, ben. >> how are you? a great to see you. did you have a fence around the house? >> thank you. >> will you sign my bible? >> sure.
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[inaudible conversations] >> amy. >> hi, hello. >> hey, great to see you. you will be on your spot, and you are on the other side. put your left hand on the bible and raise your right hand. i still have to read the oath. all right, do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear the true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully
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discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> i am so happy you are here. congratulations. good to see you. [inaudible conversations] >> doing very well. >> i know you are. spent and this is my dad. >> hey, dad, how are you? >> i'm susan. >> great to see you, susan. >> you get here, and dad you get over here. >> great, everybody look right up here. thank you. >> thank you. >> best of luck and congratulations.
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>> we're going to have you go over that way. [inaudible conversations] >> hello, good to see. [inaudible conversations] >> i'm sure she will say the same thing. >> no, no, no. >> i'm joking, i'm joking.
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>> you hold the bible, put your left and on and raise your right hand, okay? do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear the true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> congratulations. >> one more. todd? where is he. >> hey, todd, how are you. here we go. >> thank you, good luck. >> [inaudible conversations]
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hi, how are you? good to see you. >> congratulations. >> you're going to stand right here. if you will put your left hand -- my apologies. slip of the tongue. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear the true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that
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you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> congratulations. congratulations. >> my daughter spent how are you? >> hey, mom. how are you? i'm joe biden. spent she likes cheney better, she told me. >> there's a baseball field called cheney park.
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>> hello. >> good to see. >> how do you want us? >> she always says, joe we. come on, mom. take a chance, ruin your reputation here. mom, this could hurt you back home. >> kathy, we can't see you back there.
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>> i can't find my window. >> perfect. >> i can't see over -- >> your fine. >> would you take a picture of this quickly? [laughter] now i've got evidence. now i've got evidence. thank you, mom. >> i'm 90 years old. >> all, mom, i'll tell you what, 20 years from now when i show my kids, you come and sign it. god love you. [inaudible conversations]
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>> i agree. >> good to see you guys. >> nice to meet you. >> good to see you, man. nice to be with you. >> hello, sandra. >> and molly who used to work for you. >> you hold the bible. you will put your left hand on and raise your right hand. senator, do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you
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will bear the true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> vice president, i do. >> thank you. >> i want you next to me. how are you guys? come on, let's do this. >> thank you. thank you. >> [inaudible conversations] >> roger.
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>> here we are. >> do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear the true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> roger, congratulations. and happy new year. >> [inaudible conversations] >> where's henry? >> here's henry spent how are
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you doing, man? how old are you? [inaudible] >> come on back let's do this. would you hold this for your mommy? >> you have a real job. >> ready? okay, raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear the true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. i do. >> i tell you what, man, enjoy it. spent look over here. >> thank you. >> head over that way.
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>> [inaudible conversations] >> i just have one thing to say. [inaudible] >> put your left hand on the bible and raise your right hand. ready? do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the
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constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear the true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> indeed i will. >> congratulations. >> [inaudible conversations] >> good to see you, how. hey, hey, hey.
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>> how are you? stand right in the middle. that's exactly right. are you ready? all right, do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear the true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> i had no doubt about it. [inaudible conversations]
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>> [inaudible conversations] >> that's my wife, 45 years. >> the better half. how are you?
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>> you going to stand right there. you're going to all the bible. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear the true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> where's mom? guys, other than my mother, is the finest lady i have known. >> good to see you, too. hey, honey, how are you?
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>> [inaudible conversations] >> how are you? great to see you, honey. how are you? okay. right over here. all right. >> everybody asked why i moved from scranton when i was a kid. we live three blocks -- [inaudible] i had to get out of town. anyway, great to see you guys. mom, i'll see you in a bit i hope. i've got to show you --
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[inaudible conversations] [laughter] >> you're in luck. thank you. >> thank you so much. >> we've got to go that way. >> this way. >> yes, i remember what you said to my mom. that was wonderful. does anybody else want to be
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sworn in as a senator? [inaudible conversations] >> oh, okay, i'll sign those. >> [inaudible conversations] >> mock swearing-in session taking place in the old senate chamber. the senate itself is actually in recess right now, subject to the call of the chair means they could come back at any moment. we do expect senators will
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return at some point during the day as they continue the opening day activities of the 113th senate. while we wait for them to return, just before the session got underway today, mark kirk made his way up the steps to the senate. he suffered a major stroke about a year ago and he's been working on his rehabilitation and was joined on the steps by senators biden, mansion and turbine. -- senator manchin and senator durbin. >> mr. vice president. >> welcome back. [cheers and applause] >> wh[inaudible conversations]
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>> [inaudible conversations]
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>> hey, how are you? >> thank you. >> thank you. >> hey, man, good to see you. >> [inaudible conversations] >> hey, guys, how are you? >> how are you?
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>> we've got all day, pal. [applause] >> [inaudible conversations] >> are you kidding me? i'm as happy as can be to be here, man. you've got it, man.
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[inaudible conversations] >> come on. [applause] [applause]
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[cheers and applause] [inaudible conversations]
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>> [inaudible conversations] >> let's go round of this way. -- around this way. >> j., mark. [applause] [inaudible conversations] know for for navy, let's go. [laughter]
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[applause] [inaudible conversations]
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>> your own personal stairmaster here. [applause] >> come on back market. [applause] come on, mark. [applause] [cheers and applause]
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>> mark -- [inaudible] >> senator mark kirk, just a few moments before the senate gavels in the 113th session today. the senate is in recess right now subject to the call of the chair. when they return we will have live coverage on c-span2. back now live as to the old senate chamber. the senate continues the mock swearing-in of members, just finishing up with wisconsin center tammy baldwin. >> -- senator tammy baldwin. >> god love you. >> all right.
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[inaudible conversations] >> raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear the true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> [inaudible conversations] >> hey, how are you? how are you doing, buddy? hey, mike, how are you? hey, jack. how are you?
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hey, judy. >> nice to meet you. >> hey, susan, how are you? >> i'm grand. ..
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[inaudible conversations] thank you. appreciate it. great to see you, pal. do you solemnly swear you'll support and defend the constitution of the united states against all domestic that you bear truth and allegiance of the same to you take this obligation without any reservation or purpose is that he will discharge the duties of the office on which so help you
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god? [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] i have his three sons, you know, jimmy. [inaudible] what does he do? well, she's a lawyer. [laughter] i'm not kidding. i'm not kidding. [laughter]
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one, two, three. >> thank you. nice to meet you. [inaudible conversations] do you solemnly swear to support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic that you bear true faith and allegiance and take this obligation freely without any reservation you will discharge the duties of the office so help
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you god? >> i do. >> this is my daughter. >> how are you? great to see you. [inaudible] good to see you. there's mothers and then there's something else and something else and then there's mothers and mothers. [laughter]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] hey, him some. good to see you. how old are you? 14? >> no, four. >> do you solemnly swear you'll support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic and bear true faith and allegiance and that in this obligation truly without any mental reservation and you are [inaudible] so help you god?
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[laughter] >> i would love to have my mother, kathy -- [laughter] >> how are you? >> thank you. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> do you solemnly swear that he will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of
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evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter so help you god? [inaudible conversations] >> my mother. >> mom, you come over by me. >> austin, how are you? [inaudible conversations] >> okay. ready?
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[inaudible] [laughter] >> thank you so much. congratulations. congratulations to you. [inaudible conversations] well, hi. help are you? arthu 15?
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>> four and a half, almost five. >> put your left hand on the bible. >> ready. here we go. do you solemnly swear that he will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic; that you bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that he take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter so help you god? [inaudible conversations] >> it's a democrat, i know. but it's okay. [laughter] >> congratulations to you.
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>> thank you, sir. >> this is my mother. >> hey. how are you? come on, mom. we are going to put you right next to me. here we go. >> good to see you. >> you stand right there, mom.
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[inaudible conversations] >> hi, how are you? joe biden, how are you? what's your name? good to see you. [inaudible conversations]
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>> okay. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[laughter] >> i'm going to have you stand right in the middle. you stand there and you get to be with us, okay? do you solemnly swear that he will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; that he will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do.
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hey, moly. so good to meet you. hey, josh. nice to meet you. emily. [inaudible conversations] >> how are you doing? nice to see you again. well, how are you? nice to see you. all right.
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you can stand right there. sleight of there. that's all right. [inaudible conversations] >> congratulations. [inaudible conversations]
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you stand right there in the middle. you see this, this is my mom's -- can you put that on? all right. would you place your left hand on the bible and raise your
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right hand. do you solemnly swear to support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic; that you bear true faith and allegiance to the state? you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or self purpose of evasion and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> [inaudible conversations]
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>> [inaudible conversations] >> thank you [laughter] [inaudible conversations] >> hey, guys! how are you? i'll be darne. okay, great. what you want to do, mom, you are going to hold the bible. put your left hand and raise their right hand. do you solemnly swear that he will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies
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foreign and domestic; that you bear true faith and allegiance to the state and that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of the invasion and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of which you are about to enter so help you god? [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] to do solemnly swear you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic and do you bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that he will well and faithfully discharge the duties of which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> thank you. >> it's a great pleasure. [inaudible conversations]
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you stand next to me, mom. [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] put your left hand on the bible and raise your right hand if you would. adidas ellis ware to support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that he will therefore true faith and allegiance to the same that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or self purpose of evasion and that you will well and faithfully discharge the
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duties of the office on which you are about to enter so help you god? [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> we are going to have you stand back and you stand right here do you solemnly swear to support and defend the constitution of the united states of america against all enemies foreign and domestic that you bear true faith and allegiance to the same and take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of each asian; and that he will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. [inaudible conversations]
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hi >> they need to be in this picture. everyone? >> [inaudible] [laughter] >> that's my family. they are coming. >> good to see you. how are you? >> do you have any more? >> come on the other side. how are you? i would be delighted. >> great to see you guys.
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>> okay, everyone. >> mom mom mama, we are going to have you stand right in the middle. ready to? >> do you solemnly swear to support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic that you
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bear fruit trees and allegiance and take this obligation freely without any mental reservation and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> congratulations. do you have any family? [inaudible conversations] >> good to see you. how are you doing? great to be with you. >> good to see you. if you need help, let me know. [laughter] >> okay, here we go.
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>> [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] all right. that's it. thanks for your patience. appreciate it. see you latersee you.
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>> the swearing in sessions wrapping up in the old senate chamber following up on the official swearing-in that took place on the senate floor earlier today. the senate is in recess right now subject to the call of the chair. we expect them to return at some point during the day as they continue opening activities of the 113th senate. tomorrow the senate is expected to take up aid for victims of hurricane sandy. we will have live coverage on c-span2. while we wait for their return earlier today we spoke with a capitol hill reporter to taught at the opening day activities and changes the senate could face. >> the senior congressional reporter for politico. it's opening day for the 113th congress and we are hearing senate majority leader harry reid intends to keep the first legislative day going through
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most of this month. what is the goal? >> he wants to preserve the rights to change the filibuster rules by 51 votes. the reason why he's doing that is because of the first day of a legislative session is when you deal with the rules package, and then you have the option to purchase some changes by 51 vote majority. typically it requires 67 votes to do it. a very high threshold, it requires a lot of bipartisan support in order to change any senate rules, but there has been a very strong push by the band of mostly junior officers set up with the to gridlock and they blame it on the filibuster and say let us use the 51 vote option and change the rules under this procedure. now, by extending the legislative day, what he's doing is actually not adjourning. he is a winter recess the senate so they can come back later and will technically still be the
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first day. in between, he's going to talk to mitch mcconnell and see whether they can come up with a bipartisan compromise to avert this what is called the nuclear option because it's never been done on the first day of a session like this. if he can't do it, then he's prepared to move forward and take some changes in the filibuster rule and republicans are warning this could set off a bomb in the senate and really, really ruin the institution. >> how many different proposals, filibuster proposals are likely to be considered? >> well, what reid is mostly concerned about is the republican filibuster to bring the bill forward for legislation. on that aspect as well as when bills are passed and when the senate wants to convene a house-senate conference committees, reid is very concerned about republicans blocking that effort. republicans in exchange seem willing to deal on that, but they want to get it right and offer a certain amount of amendments that legislation. they complain that reid has been completely unfair and choking
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off the ability to offer amendments on the floor. what others wanted even more efforts to pare back the power of the filibuster. one of which is the very popular measure of the fight by the democrats what they but called the so-called talking filibuster and which one would require the folks to go to the floor and carry out a filibuster classics opposed to washington. that would change things up if that were to be proposed to be considered. reid isn't saying which way he is going to go yet on the talking filibuster and how far he is going to go. but that is certainly one of the options that's out there as we head into that begun january 22nd. >> why are the rule change is important for the viewers to know about and what affect is it going to have on the legislation and how the senate does its work? >> the proponents would say it would ease the gridlock of legislation to bring it would make things move a lot faster. the senate could consider
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litigation work there would be as much obstruction and tactics. both sides of the ogle. but really they are talking about nibbling around the edges in terms of the filibuster because you can't filibuster -- kinver lost anything into action and they are talking about getting into a couple of situations and if they do the talking filibuster, yes the would change institutions significantly but it's a more theatrical display on the senate floor and make it harder to pass legislation some ways so what you are going to see is the long-term impact is they do go forward with a 51 vote option to change the senate rules to the future majority is come in and try to do the same thing and make greater changes to the filibuster. they could rule within odierno
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-- on your fist. would it change the bill does this process? some say yes and others are skeptical. >> as the senate starts the session what are you so curious about today? >> it will be interesting the 35-45 majority will be closer to the 50 vote majority. i am looking forward to the first, on february we are going to go into the debt ceiling as well as the automatic spending cuts on the sequestered expires at the end of february. how does the senate deal with that in the senate democrats deal with that with the white house because we are already giving republicans that want to make this all about spending cuts and the democrats got a big revenue in the fiscal quick field and they got an increase in tax rates in the top income earners, and they are probably not going to get that now in the next. so, what do democrats want as a
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part of that package to raise the debt ceiling and how do they work off the republicans that felt they didn't get what they wanted in the siskel class and they are going to push hard to get what they want on the debt ceiling. february will be a defining under the congress. >> manu raju as the senior congressional reporter for politico. thanks for taking time with us on this busy day. >> absolutely. thank you petraeus and the senate is in recess. we expect them to return soon. no votes are anticipated today but tomorrow the senate could take up the bill helping the victims of hurricane sandy. they passed the sandy bill last week and under pressure from house members, house speaker boehner will be moving the sandy legislation tomorrow then sending it to the senate the you can see the senate live on c-span2 as always. while we wait for the senate to return we will go back to the swearing in of the members earlier today on the senate floor.
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or contain all the essential requirements for the suggested by the senate. if there is no objection, the reading of the certificates will be waived and they will reprinted in full in the record. if the senate is to be sworn we will present themselves at the desk as the names are called in alphabetical order. the chair will administer the oath of office. the clerk will read the names of the first group. >> ms. baldwin of wisconsin. mr. barrasso of wyoming. mr. brown of ohio. ms. cantwell of washington.
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please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear to support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic, that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> congratulations, senator.
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[applause] >> [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> the clerk will call the names of the next group. >> mr. cardin of maryland. mr. carper of delaware. mr. casey of pennsylvania. mr. corker of tennessee.
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>> please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that he will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic; that you bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of each patient, and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter so help you god? >> i do. >> congratulations, senator. [applause]
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the clerk will call the names of the next group. >> mr. donnelly of indiana. mrs. feinstein of california. mrs. fisher of nebraska. >> please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that he will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic, that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that you take this obligation freely
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without any mental reservation or purpose of each asian and you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> congratulations, senator. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] >> the clerk will call the names of the next group. >> mr. flake of arizona. mrs. jalabert and if new york. mr. hodge of utah. mr. heinrich of mexico.
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>> please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic; that you bear true faith and allegiance to the same; the you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god?
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>> i do. >> congratulations, senator. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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>> the clerk will call the names of the next group. >> ms. hight can't of north dakota. mr. heller of nevada. mr. cain of virginia. >> please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that he will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic; that you bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; that he will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter so help you god?
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>> i do. >> congratulations, senator. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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>> the clerk will call the names of the next group. >> mr. king of maine. ms. klobuchar of minnesota. faster manchin of west virginia. ms. mccaskill of missouri.
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[inaudible conversations] please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear to support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? congratulations, senators. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] the clerk will call the names of the next group. >> mr. menendez of new jersey. mr. murphy of connecticut. mr. nelson of florida. mr. sanders of vermont.
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please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that he will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic that you bear true faith and allegiance to the same; it that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion and you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god?
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>> i do. >> congratulations, senators. [applause] ..
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[inaudible conversations] >> please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear or affirm that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> congratulations, senators. [applause] [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> the clerk will call the names of the next group. >> mr. white house -- mr. whitehouse of rhode island. mr. wicker of mississippi.
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[inaudible conversations] >> is there one more? >> i think we have mr. cochran coming. do you solemnly swear or affirm that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> congratulations, senators.
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[applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] >> senators being sworn in at the opening of the 113th session of the u.s. senate happening earlier today. the house is expected to do the
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same shortly and you will be able to see live coverage of that on our companion network c-span. the u.s. senate is in recess right now and we expect him return sometime soon. leader reid suggesting there could be one vote in the senate later today. tomorrow's legislative business will include work on a bill aiding victims of hurricane sandy are good they did pass a bill last week with $60 billion under pressure from members of the house, how speaker boehner will be moving sandy aid legislation tomorrow. the senate will get it in the afternoon. see the senate live here on c-span2. ill and i senator mark kirk who suffered a stroke in january last year returned to the senate earlier today and climbed the u.s. capital steps to the senate's front door for the first time after suffering a stroke that left most of his left side their lives. west virginia senator joe manchin and illinois senator richard durbin. this is about 10 minutes.
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[inaudible conversations] >> welcome back. [applause] [applause] [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] senator mark kirk joined his senate colleagues later as the opening day activities were getting underway earlier today. we are still waiting for the senate to return from their recess. we will join them live when they return here on c-span2. now going to live pictures on congress beginning with the
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113th session looking at vice president joe biden slim of there. earlier members took -- members took photos of the east side of the capitol. lots of tourist activity as the day unfolded. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] live now inside the u.s.
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capital, where house speaker john boehner is swearing in members in mock session as the senate did earlier. members posing for pictures with families and friends. >> put your hand up. there we go. [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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well hi. how are you? >> [inaudible conversations] nice to meet you. how are you? [inaudible conversations] >> right here in front of me.
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[inaudible conversations] copies of the electors for vice majorityt pledgeie on the table.
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you're reid: i now ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it recess until 12:30 p.m. tomorrow, friday, january 4, that following the prayer and pledge, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. following any leader remarks, the senate recess for the joint session for the counting of electoral votes electing barack obama as president. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: mr. president, senators will gather at 12:45 p.m. tomorrow to proceed together to the joint session. if there is no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it recess under the previous order. the presiding officer: the the presiding officer: the
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the senior congressional reporter for politico. while the opening day for the 113th congress and we are sharing senate majority leader harry reid intends to keep the first legislative day going through most of this month. >> change the filibuster rule by 51 votes. the reason he's doing that is because the first day of the legislative session to deal with the rules package and we have the auction mode that pushed some changes by 51 vote majority. typically it requires 67 votes to do. that's the highest threshold above requires the order to change any senate rules that there's been a very strong push, a growing push by a band of mostly junior lawmakers who say they are fed up with the gridlock and they blame it on the filibuster and say let us use this 51 votes and change the rules under this procedure. now, by extending the legislative date, what he is
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actually giving is not adjourning but the recess and making a comeback later that will technically be the first day. so in between he squinted talk to mitch mcconnell and see whether or not they can come up with a bipartisan compromise to avert what critics call the nuclear option because it has never been done on the first day of a session like this. if he can't do it in his prepared to move forward and make some changes to filibuster rules and they are warning that this could set off a bomb in the senate and really ruin the institution. estimate how many different proposals, filibuster proposals are likely to be considered? >> what he is mostly concerned about or republicans filibustered in his efforts to bring the former bills for the legislation. on that aspect when the bills are passed and the senate wants to convene the conference committee she is very concerned about the republicans blocking that effort. in exchange they will make a deal on that but what they want to do is get the right to offer
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a certain amount of amendments. they complain that he has been completely unfair and choking off the ability to offer amendments on the floor. but others what is even more efforts to tear back the power of the filibuster. one on which the to a popular measure of democrats what they would call the so-called talking filibuster in which would require your folks to actually go to the floor and carry out a filibuster like the famous movie classic mr. smith goes to washington. that would change the proposal to be considered and he isn't say which way he's going to go on the talking filibuster and how far he's going to go. but that is certainly one of the options that is out there in that week to generate 22nd. >> why are the rule change is important for the viewers to know about and what effect is it going to have on the legislation and how the senate does its
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work? >> the proponents say that it would ease the gridlock of legislation and would make things move a lot faster. the senate could consider legislation. there wouldn't be as much obstruction tactics. both sides of the aisle really ns since they are talking about milling around the edges in terms of the filibuster because you can't filibuster virtually any action. they are probably talking about getting rid of it in a couple situations. and if they do the talking filibuster, yes, that would change significantly but it could lead to more theatrical display on the senate floor and it may make it harder to pass legislation in some ways. so, you know, i think what we are going to see -- the real concern is the long-term impact is if they do go forward with a 51 vote option to change senate rules in the future majority come in and try to do the same thing and make even greater changes in the filibuster and the concern is whether or not that would turn the senate into
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the house with a majority to relieve rule with an iron fist. that is really a long-term concern. the short term concern will lead change the legislative process some say yes it would make things quicker and others are a little more skeptical. >> very quickly and finally as the senate starts the session what are you most curious about today? >> you will be interesting. the arctic 55 prudhoe 45 majority and will be closer to a 50 vote majority. he's looking forward to the first fight. in february we are going to go right into the debt ceiling as well as the automatic spending cuts on the sequestered that will expire at the end of february. how does the senate deal with that and how do senate democrats to deal with that with the white house because we are already hearing republicans want to make this all about spending cuts. democrats got a big revenue win in the fiscal cliff deal, and they got an increase in tax rates at the top income earners
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and they are probably not going to get that now in the next fight over the debt ceiling so what do democrats want in part of the package to raise the debt ceiling and how do they were off the effort by republicans who didn't get what they wanted in the fiscal cliff and they are granted push hard to get what they want in the debt ceiling. february will be a defining moment. >> manu raju is the senior congressional reporter for politico. thanks for taking time with us on this busy day. >> absolutely. thank you. >> the senate came back for just a couple minutes and then went back out for the day. earlier the new members of the 113th congress were sworn in. there are 14 new centers in the session, nine democrats and four republicans, one independent. democrats hold the majority with 53 members compared to 45 republicans. there are two independent some who said they will be talking with the democrats. tomorrow the house is expected to vote on the $9.7 million bill
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that provides money for flood insurance programs and is helping those affected by hurricane sandy. if the house passes that measure the senate is expected to approve it. and senate leaders also plan to continue negotiations and possible changes to filibuster rules in order to the president's inauguration on january 21st. as always the senate live on c-span2. >> while the senate is out for the rest of the day come earlier senators were sworn in on the floor.
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>> the chair lease before the senate to fulfill an unexpired term the certificate of election for 33 senators elected for six year terms beginning january january 3rd, 2013. all certificates the chair's advisers are in the form suggested by the senate or contain all the essential requirements for all of the form suggested by the senate. if there is no objection the reading of certificates will be waived and printed in full in the record. if the senate is to be sworn will now present themselves at the desk as their names are called in alphabetical order. the chair will the minister of the oath of office. the clerk will read the names of the first group. >> ms. baldwin of wisconsin. mr. barrasso of wyoming. mr. brown of ohio.
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ms. cantwell of washington. >> please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear to support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic; that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god?
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>> i do. >> congratulations, senators. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] the clerk will call the names of the next group. >> mr. cardin of maryland. mr. carper of delaware. mr. casey of pennsylvania. mr. corker of tennessee.
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[inaudible conversations] >> please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic; that you bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> congratulations, senators. [applause]
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>> the clerk will call the names of the next group. >> mr. cruise of texas. mr. donnelly of indiana. mrs. feinstein of california. mrs. fisher of nebraska. please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear to support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic; that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that
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you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> congratulations, senate terse. [applause] [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] >> the clerk will call the names of the next group. >> mr. blake of arizona. mrs. jalabert and of new york. mr. hatch of utah. mr. heinrich of new mexico.
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>> please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic; that you bear true faith and allegiance to the same, that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god?
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>> i do. >> congratulations, senators. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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>> the clerk will call the names of the next group. >> ms. hi kim from north dakota. mr. heller from nevada. >> mr. cain of a virginia. >> please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic; that you bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of each asian; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on
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which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> congratulations, senators. [applause] [inaudible conversations]
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[inaudible conversations] the clerk will call the names of the next group. >> mr. king of maine. ms. klobuchar of minnesota. mr. manchin of west virginia. ms. mccaskill of missouri.
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please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic, that he will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; a that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservations or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> congratulations, senators. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] the clerk will call the names of the next group. >> mr. menendez of new jersey. mr. murphy of connecticut. mr. nelson of florida. mr. sanders of vermont.
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>> [inaudible conversations] >> please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic, that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you got? >> i do.
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>> congratulations, senate terse. [applause] [applause] >> the clerk will call the names of the next group. >> mr. space of south carolina. ms. stabenow of michigan made.
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mr. tester. [inaudible conversations] >> please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that you will support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic, that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> congratulations, senators. [applause]
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[inaudible conversations] >> the clerk will call the names of the next group. >> mr. whitehouse of rhode
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island. mr. wicker of mississippi. please raise your right hand -- [inaudible conversations] do you solemnly swear to support and defend the constitution of the united states against all enemies foreign and domestic; that you will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that you take this obligation freely without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that you will well and faithfully
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discharge the duties of the office on which you are about to enter, so help you god? >> i do. >> congratulations, senators. [applause] [inaudible conversations] >> that happened earlier today with the start of the 113th
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congress. the senate is expected back tomorrow at 12:30 eastern when they will gavel and to walk to the capitol for a joint meeting of congress to count the electoral votes for president and vice president. if the house passes it, senate terse tomorrow will take up a $9.7 billion bill for the programs helping those affected by hurricane sandy. we are going out to house speaker boehner swearing in members of the house. right now the house is taking the first votes of the session including a vote on the rules for the house, so this market is taking a break. they are expected back shortly about five minutes from now. we will continue our live coverage of speaker boehner right here when he continues. after six terms in the house he became a senator today. we spoke with him on this morning's washington journal. we are going across the capitol this morning to the
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result rotunda where we are joined by senator jeff blake of the house now crossing over to the senate. since you are not new, excuse me, senator, let's get right to it. you voted no two days ago on the fiscal cliff agreement when it comes to raising the debt ceiling in a month or so. what will be your vote? >> i think we have to use every avenue that we have to drive home the point that we are overspending. there is no bigger issue, no bigger issue right now and the overspending that we are doing and the effect of the debt and deficit on the economy and on our ability to function as a government and as a country. so, yes i think we ought to use it to the full extent to make sure that we cut the spending somewhere. we didn't in this last package. >> so for you, congressman, does that mean that medicare and cutting spending for medicare is on the table? because when you ran for the
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senate seat you are supporting medicare cuts and obviously some say you have a very large elderly population. is medicare on the table for you? >> you bet. i said from the very beginning at every campaign eve and i've been to and every form i've been to that we've got to change the structure to make sustainable in the long term. i support the ryan plan, premium support. we've got to raise the retirement age. we've got to with social security do the change cpi. there are a lot of things we need to do and it's not just going to be one or another. it's probably going to be all of them. >> so, for you, jeff flake, who should be doing the negotiating do you think? because in the last round we saw that it was vice president joe biden and your leader over there in the senate, mitch mcconnell. >> i hope it is regular order. that's one thing we've seen in the 113th or the 112 congress
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that has not been good. we moved away from regular order and we haven't got an appropriation bills one by one. in the house we certainly tried. but the senate not one appropriation bill went through. my reference is to go through regular order. when you put a bill on the floor and allow members to mn, that's the best route, and i hope that's where we go back to. >> and congressman, what about filibuster reform? we are reading this morning that could be a vote that happens later on meeting in february. and how would the changes it is that you wouldn't need 60 votes to just consider a bill or in the the dates. there would be a requirement on final passage, but allow the legislation to at least come to the floor. how would you vote on that? >> i hope that we do not change rules that has served the country well for more than 200 years. the senate has a great tradition here. the rules are such that the majority just doesn't have its wealth in the house.
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if you have a one person majority and the body of the 435, you can pretty much control what goes on. that is in the case in the senate and that's a good thing. what we need is a change in behavior, and i hope that extends to both sides of the aisle. we cannot fill the tree meaning you can't take away the opportunity for the minority party to have amendments. but the minority party has to realize you can't beat of a tory either. so i think we need some behavior changes, but not changes to rules that was considered a couple of years ago by republicans wiser heads prevailed and it didn't happen. i hope the same happens this time. >> senator egullet jeff flake, immigration reform being from the state of arizona are you willing to compromise on that and what do you see as compromise? >> i've been working on this issue for the entire time i've been in the house, introduced
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legislation with louise gutierez of illinois a and i worked with senator kennedy when we were looking at a bicameral package as well. so yes, we've got to have a bicameral, a bipartisan package that moves through. as long as it includes meaningful security, that's what we really need in arizona. and we've got to do all of it. and obviously it will be a compromise bill, but it needs to happen. >> all right. first phone call comes from thomas m. bloch phill south carolina, democratic colored. >> caller:. >> good morning, greta. thank you, c-span. also [inaudible] i am an avid c-span watcher and you were accused of being thought of as a right-wing nut, i've forgotten what it was, but
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you come close to right straight down the middle [inaudible] it is an honor to speak to senator elective flake from arizona. a great state. i love it. but i am -- i am disturbed about some of the things i see. i am for filibuster reform and that the news as the senator said, a student of history without a law degree and i just wanted you to know that filibuster reform is needed. what they tried to do to the president and to the stimulation of their own party is bad, and
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that's what caused these kind of things. i'm not saying we don't have plenty of room on both sides. there's plenty of blame to go around. but the republicans are going to have to get their head out of the sand. >> guest: i would just say that we have had changes to the rules of the senate that they have all been done by the super majority margin coming in here we are talking about by simple majority just 51. pretty severely changing the rules, particularly on how you proceed to a bill. and that shouldn't be taken lightly, and i think it will backfire. what we need in the senate is a body that's different from the house. i've been in the house for 12 years. the rules in the house or appropriate for the house. but the rules we have in the senator of reprieve for the senate, and they shouldn't be changed willy-nilly. >> host: your colleague from
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arizona, senator john mccain, is supporting a form a filibuster reform along with carl levin. have you told him you are a no vote on his proposal? >> guest: we haven't always studied that proposal. i'm still in the house, so they are trying as it happened a couple of years ago with republicans considering this so-called constitutional nuclear option. the group of 14 act that time can together with a package. but i was basically an agreement. i hope we reach some kind of similar agreement that doesn't require a changing of the rules. and if it does come it would just change standing rules of the last two years rather than rules i would be perceived to change the rules for ever in the body. so, i'm glad that there's a bipartisan group of people working on this and i hope to look at the package now. >> host: on the republican line, keith in indiana.
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>> caller: good morning. i don't understand it. you know, how many wars we want? we can't win the war to protect our borders. can't win the war on drugs, all right? can't reform anything that's sensible. sometimes we've got to go backwards to go for words, all right? they are stuck in reverse. they can't understand that in order to go forward, sometimes you got to back up. in order to go forward. so you have to reform things that have gotten out of hand generation after generation, okay? sometimes there's people out there that have their hand extended out generation after generation. so far they don't know when to pull them back in.
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that free handout has gotten stock so far out that generation after generation only knows to have their hand stuck out because that's all they have been raised on. >> host: all right. mr. flake? >> guest: the caller is suggesting that you have people that expect too much of the government. i think that is true. that's true across the society and i think it is true with big companies and with individuals. it's true with just about everyone. i'm a believer in limited government, and so i think that yes we need to return to a more limited government. i think that was envisioned by the founding fathers and certainly when you have a government that is $16 trillion in debt, that says enough on its own. >> host: our next caller is one of your constituents, craig in tucson, arizona. the go ahead. >> caller: congratulations. i supported and voted for you.
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>> guest: i appreciate that. >> caller: i know you have your hands full. >> guest: i do. thank you. >> caller: my main concern right this minute is how do things like these pork-barrel spending this get added to these bills? for instance, the sandy hurricane relief? i've got no problem spending money to help those people. but i don't want it doubled to other people. how does this happen? i've been told the senate was the one that added those. it just blows me away that good legislation can start and all of a sudden it turns to crack. >> host: all right. mr. flake? >> guest: that happens all too frequently. in the house and the senate in the past few years we've done something that is positive in
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that regard in large where the biggest bill i think have a 6300 earmark or add on, that was the 2005 transportation bill. we don't need that anymore. at least we've called a moratorium for now, and that's a good thing. but there's still far too much of that that goes on. referring to the sandy relief, there are some legitimate needs and legitimate responsibilities in the federal government. there was an assurance the was purchased and that fund is running low and that money is owed and the congress ought to appropriate it. having said that, the items were added on to the legislation as the caller said that really have little to do with the disaster. senate republicans tried to pare that back. they offered an amendment that was competed. the house is going to take it out and if it comes to the senate i will keep your thoughts in mind. i appreciate it. >> host: mr. flake, are you then able to try to amend it
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when it comes back to the senate? >> guest: well, we don't know -- we don't know how the house will consider it. if they concur with the senate bill, then there would not be an opportunity. but if the change it, they're likely will. so i am one who believes that you ought to pay for the disaster and with the federal government's responsibility is. but we can't get into the habit of trying to solve everything for the future when one disaster happens. some of these litigation funds that are put together really, like i said, have little to do with the disaster. but really are costly. and we need to make sure that this -- to the extent possible -- goes through the regulations process. the problem is sometimes when you do bills like this they are all legitimate needs that have to happen immediately commit but we put in items that should be considered under the regular order. as the caller said, we have a lot better legislation when the
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committees here these bills, and then we amend them and we do that through regular order. we need to get back to that particularly in the senate we haven't had that process for a while. >> host: when you were in the house as someone that would fight against your marks what would you do in the senate? will you team up with tom coburn, for civil, and come to the floor like he does to offer -- >> jeff flake was sworn in as the house today. we go back now to the mock swearing in where john boehner is treating each member and their families. [inaudible conversations]
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